Federal Register of Legislation - Australian Government

Primary content

A Bill for an Act to provide for the accurate labelling of food with genetically modified material, and for related purposes
For authoritative information on the progress of bills and on amendments proposed to them, please see the House of Representatives Votes and Proceedings, and the Journals of the Senate as available on the Parliament House website.
Registered 24 Nov 2010
Introduced Senate 16 Nov 2010

2010

 

The Parliament of the

Commonwealth of Australia

 

THE SENATE

 

 

 

 

Presented and read a first time

 

 

 

 

 

 

Food Standards Amendment (Truth in Labelling—Genetically Modified Material) Bill 2010

 

No.      , 2010

 

(Senators Xenophon and Siewert)

 

 

 

A Bill for an Act to provide for the accurate labelling of food with genetically modified material, and for related purposes

  

  


Contents

1............ Short title............................................................................................ 1

2............ Commencement.................................................................................. 1

3............ Schedule(s).......................................................................................... 2

4............ Purpose of Act................................................................................... 2

Schedule 1— Amendment of the Food Standards Australia New Zealand Act 1991            3


A Bill for an Act to provide for the accurate labelling of food with genetically modified material, and for related purposes

The Parliament of Australia enacts:

1  Short title

                   This Act may be cited as the Food Standards Amendment (Truth in Labelling—Genetically Modified Material) Act 2010.

2  Commencement

             (1)  Each provision of this Act specified in column 1 of the table commences, or is taken to have commenced, in accordance with column 2 of the table. Any other statement in column 2 has effect according to its terms.

 

Commencement information

Column 1

Column 2

Column 3

Provision(s)

Commencement

Date/Details

1.  Sections 1 to 4 and anything in this Act not elsewhere covered by this table

The day this Act receives the Royal Assent.

 

2.  Schedule 1

The 28th day after this Act receives the Royal Assent.

 

Note:          This table relates only to the provisions of this Act as originally enacted. It will not be amended to deal with any later amendments of this Act.

             (2)  Any information in Column 3 of the table is not part of this Act. Information may be inserted in this column, or information in it may be edited, in any published version of this Act.

3  Schedule(s)

                   Each Act that is specified in a Schedule to this Act is amended or repealed as set out in the applicable items in the Schedule concerned, and any other item in a Schedule to this Act has effect according to its terms.

4  Purpose of Act

                   The purpose of this Act is to require producers, manufacturers and distributors of food to label all products that contain genetically modified material.


 

Schedule 1— Amendment of the Food Standards Australia New Zealand Act 1991

 

1  After section 16

Insert:

16C  Matters for which amendment of standard must be developed and approved—genetically modified material

             (1)  The Authority must, within 6 months after the commencement of this section develop and approve standard (a GM food labelling standard) to prescribe that producers, manufacturers and distributors of food containing genetically modified material must list that material as an ingredient of the food on the food’s label, irrespective of:

                     (a)  the amount of genetically modified material in the food; and

                     (b)  the manner in which the genetically modified material made its way into the food; and

                     (c)  the fact that the food was not intended to contain genetically modified material.

             (2)  The first GM food labelling standard approved under subsection (1) is not subject to section 18 (Objectives of the Authority in developing or reviewing food regulatory measures and variations of food regulatory measures) or Part 3 (Food regulatory measures), particularly Division 3 (Council may request a review of approved draft standard etc.) and sections 102 to 106.

             (3)  Subsection (2) does not prevent the Authority from:

                     (a)  revoking a GM food labelling standard and developing and approving a new standard that complies with subsection (1) to replace that standard; or

                     (b)  developing and approving a variation of a GM food labelling standard that complies with subsection (1).

             (4)  Part 3 (Food regulatory measures), apart from Division 3 (Council may request a review of approved draft standard etc.) and sections 102 to 106, applies to:

                     (a)  a standard developed and approved under paragraph (3)(a); and

                     (b)  a variation of a standard developed and approved under paragraph (3)(b).

             (5)  To avoid doubt, a GM food labelling standard must be in force at all times after the first such standard comes into force.

16D  Matters for which guidelines must be developed—exercise of due diligence—genetic modification

             (1)  The Authority must, within 6 months after the commencement of this section, develop guidelines in relation to the exercise of due diligence by producers, manufacturers and distributors of GM‑free food for the prevention of contamination of such food by genetically modified material (the due diligence guidelines).

             (2)  The due diligence guidelines must include but are not limited to provisions about:

                     (a)  verification of the chain of custody in relation to ingredients used to produce GM‑free food; and

                     (b)  procurement or supply contract requirements for ingredients for GM‑free food; and

                     (c)  verification of testing and the results of testing GM‑free food:

                              (i)  produced or manufactured in a high risk country; or

                             (ii)  containing ingredients sourced from a high risk country.

             (3)  In any proceedings against a person for a State or Territory offence based on a breach of the labelling provisions of a standard approved under section 16C, it is a defence if the person complied with, or took reasonable steps to ensure compliance with, the due diligence guidelines.

Note:          A defendant bears an evidential burden in relation to the matters in subsection (3).

             (4)  In this section:

GM‑free food means food not intended to contain genetically modified material.

high risk country means any country which is likely to be a source of food or ingredients contaminated by genetically modified material and that is prescribed by the regulations for the purposes of this section.

16E  Matters for which guidelines must be developed—compliance and testing—GM food labelling standard

                   The Authority must, within 6 months after the commencement of this section, develop guidelines to assist agencies involved in the compliance testing and enforcement of the Australia New Zealand Food Standards Code in relation to a GM food labelling standard.